Wichita Falls, Texas - The Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District would like to inform residents that, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 42 cases of Cyclospora infection, or cyclosporiasis, have been reported in Texas within the past week. One of the reported cases of Cyclospora was in Wichita Falls.
Cyclospora is a parasite that causes intestinal infection from consuming food or water that has been contaminated with feces. These infections are not uncommon during the summer months.
On average, symptoms of infection begin seven days after ingestion of the parasite. Symptoms include: frequent episodes of watery diarrhea, loss of appetite, stomach cramps, nausea, and fatigue. Additionally, infection may cause, low grade fever and other flu-like symptoms. Left untreated, symptoms may last a few weeks to a month or longer. Direct person-to-person transmission is unlikely. Should you experience symptoms, please see your health care provider.
Although no common exposure source for this increase in cases has yet been identified, past outbreaks in the U.S. have been associated with consumption of imported fresh produce including
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Thorough washing of fresh produce before eating is recommended to help reduce the risk of cyclosporiasis and other foodborne illnesses. However, washing may not completely eliminate the risk of transmission since Cyclospora can be difficult to wash off of crops.
It is also advised to always refrigerate perishable food within two hours, and it is important to wash hands thoroughly after handling produce. Food preparation surfaces should also be disinfected.
For more information, please contact the Health District at (940) 761-7697. Additional information regarding Cyclospora is available